Do you have a child with allergies, asthma or eczema? This book may take frustration our of your daily life as a parent.
AD RescueWear is honored to feature Henry Ehrlich and Dr. Paul Ehrlich on our blog. They have kindly agreed to a question/answer interview to educate our readers on asthma, allergies and eczema.
Dr. Paul M. Ehrlich was educated at Columbia University, trained in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital at NYU, and allergy and immunology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He is a partner at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine, attending physician in medicine and pediatrics at Beth Israel Medical Center, and attending physician at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, all in New York City. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has been featured as one of New York’s top pediatric allergists in New York Magazine for the last ten years. He is the past President of the New York Allergy and Asthma Society, which is celebrating its 75th year. He is also a co-author of Asthma Allergies Children: a Parent’s Guide.
Henry Ehrlich is co-author with Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Larry Chiaramonte of Asthma Allergies Children: a Parent’s Guide and editor of the website (http://www.asthmaallergieschildren.com). He is the author of several other books, including The Wiley Book of Business Quotations. He also writes on business for newgeography.com.
Asthma Allergies Children: a Parent’s Guide is a book written for parents who have children with asthma, allergies and eczema. The science and recommendations are easily explained so parents can understand their child’s illness and treatment options. Allergic Living Magazine calls Asthma Allergies Children: a Parent’s Guide “A must-have resource.” We agree at AD RescueWear. It is a wonderful resource and should be on the nightstand of every parent with an allergic child. And make no mistake – this is no dry read – it is full of stories, humor and helpful hints. With this book, learning about your child’s illness doesn't have to be boring. Check out their website and NEW ebook too at www.asthmaallergieschildren.com for the latest information on your child’s illness including research, treatment options, public health issues, legislation and parent stories. These 3 great resources will help you stay sane in the insane world of having an allergic child.
Below is our Question and Answer interview.
Q: Please discuss the link between eczema, allergies and asthma – the Atopic March? What are your thoughts about why it is increasing in populations around the world?
A: The Atopic March is the term used by allergists to describe a common progression of allergic diseases. Eczema is usually the first indication of allergic tendencies as a baby starts to react to allergens in their diet. In a couple of years, as the young child is exposed to other allergens in their environment—things like pollens—and foods, other allergies may develop. It is important to consider that allergies don’t happen right away. You have to be exposed to allergens to start producing the allergen-specific antibodies—called IgE—that cause allergic reactions. As to why they are increasing around the world, allergies seem to increase as societies “modernize.” Changes in the environment, diet, and the way we live generally produce subtle changes in the way our immune systems respond to things that should be harmless. These changes are encoded in our DNA from generation to generation, so people who itch have children who sneeze who have children who wheeze.
Q: Is there any way to prevent the Atopic March? We’ve heard some research that bathing and moisturizing from birth can prevent eczema and possibly then prevent asthma and food allergies. What are your thoughts?
A: The first allergen is usually part of infant food. One of the reasons breast feeding is recommended is that infant formula is usually derived from cows milk, which contains proteins called that stimulate an allergic response in many kids, but a baby may react to other things in the diet, including breast milk. There’s a struggle going on in many hospitals over what kind of infant formula to stock in the neo-natal departments because some formulas can start the allergic ball rolling in the first feeding of some children. Partially hydrogenated, whey-based formulas are considered less allergenic than those derived from whole milk. As for bathing and moisturizing preventing other allergies, it is possible that treating chronic inflammation in the skin may reduce the allergic response overall, and thus keep the immune system less, for want of a better term, “battle ready.” With less provocation to the part of the immune system that produces allergies, the part that defends against other diseases may get more opportunity to mature. Regardless, moisturizing and careful bathing do relieve some of the symptoms of eczema, which is still very important because we don’t want our babies to be in pain.
Q: What are the main symptoms of childhood eczema? What is the first thing parents should do if they suspect their child has eczema?
A: In the first weeks of life the child may develop colic, which can be indicative of allergy to components of proteins from food such as milk, eggs, and soy that may be in formula or breast milk. One possible symptom up to two years of age is very misleading--red, rosy cheeks, or “healthy baby” look. This can progress to dry, itchy skin and lichenification in the front of elbow (the antecubital area) and behind the knee (the popliteal) and more. They should definitely see a pediatrician if not a pediatric allergist.
Q: Chapter 6 in your book discusses wet wrap therapy being beneficial for eczema. Can you please discuss the benefits of wet wrap therapy as a treatment for eczema?
A: The itching of eczema is in part a function of severe dehydration of the skin as the immune system works overtime to combat allergy and infection. When there is inflammation, the fluids in the skin are drawn from their normal function of keeping the tissue moist, which leaves the skin abnormally dry. As it starts to itch, the tendency is to scratch, which allows bacteria to penetrate the outer layers, which can cause infection and causes further inflammation. That is why we call eczema “the itch that rashes.” Eczema-prone skin may also be thin and otherwise lack things reducing its effectiveness as a barrier against the outside environment. Anything we can do to shore up this defense is good.
Q: Your website has a section dedicated to food allergies called the Food Allergy Corner. We hope our readers will visit it and educate themselves on food allergies. In your opinion, can a food allergy cause eczema? What should a parent do if they suspect a food allergy in their child?
A: We have lots of stuff on our website about food allergies because it’s a hot topic and lots of research is being done. Although food allergies have been around for thousands of years, they are increasing because of various environmental and dietary reasons, as we mentioned above. An allergy to something like casein in milk can indeed cause eczema and be a precursor to the kind of food allergy that we read about in the newspapers, often by two years of age as the immature digestive system has trouble breaking down complex proteins. If a parent suspects a food allergy, the best thing to do is to ask a pediatrician for a referral to a board-certified pediatric allergist. Diagnosing a food allergy is difficult. It can’t be done just with a simple blood test. Signs of food allergy include hives, swelling, vomiting, and/or difficulty breathing usually very soon after ingesting the food.
Q: With allergy season quickly approaching what are the top tips for parents with a child with allergies and eczema?
A: Sadly, because of climate change, the allergy season is already underway in most of the country. That said, it is very important to understand what your child is allergic to. If there are known pollen allergies, it helps to start taking antihistamines ahead of the start of the season, or if it has already begun, to start now. Pollen release is at its peak early in the morning and in the evening, so your child may benefit by avoiding outdoor play during those hours, and when they come back inside, bathe the child and put on clean clothes. The dirty clothes should go right in the laundry. Also, if you have a car, keep it garaged overnight or at least avoid parking it under trees so pollen doesn’t collect on it, and use the air conditioner to keep pollen-laden air from enter the car.
Q: And lastly, is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your great resources.
A: Our book, website and new ebook are all based on our slogan, “Medicine moves faster than print.” We are continually trying to keep up with the latest thinking on the broad spectrum of allergic diseases. Parents whose children are wearing your terrific products sometimes feel overwhelmed by the succession of conditions that present themselves over time. Our material gives them explanations not only for what is happening to them now, but a glimpse of what to expect in years to come. Finally, it is our feeling that educated patients, and patients’ parents, make their doctors better at their jobs.
This book is available on their website (http://www.asthmaallergieschildren.com) or at www.Amazon.com.